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    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir members as they perform Feliz Navidad during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening, preparing for last night. Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher for 20 years at David Cox Road Elementary, also directs the choir at the school. She is retiring, and the choir's final performance was Thursday night. A large group of her former singers returned for a reunion concert.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/53/j0l0H.St.138.jpeg|473
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson (left), is greeted by one of her former David Cox Elementary principals, Kathy Elling, as Johnson works with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening, preparing for Thursday night.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/53/YqDTX.St.138.jpeg|445
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening. Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher for 20 years at David Cox Road Elementary, also directs the choir at the school. She is retiring, and the choir's final performance was Thursday night.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/53/hrm0a.St.138.jpeg|429
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/53/DO36Z.St.138.jpeg|461
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/vv0i1.St.138.jpeg|438
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/1b1CGC.St.138.jpeg|436
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/1a7Ave.St.138.jpeg|414
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/Mw5Dg.St.138.jpeg|260
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Retiring teacher Willette Johnson (right) greets returning choir alum Matthew Beachum '93 (he was in her very first 1993 choir), as Johnson prepares to work with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/mzCDx.St.138.jpeg|525
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Retiring teacher Willette Johnson (right) greets returning choir alum Keyasha Respass, 12, (front), who was in last year's choir, as Johnson prepares to work with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
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    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Retiring teacher Willette Johnson (right) greets returning choir alum Kimberly Elford '99 and her son Brayden Elford, 8 months, as Johnson prepares to work with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/v2B3R.St.138.jpeg|345
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Reunion choir members gesture as they perform Feliz Navidad during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/19wcrf.St.138.jpeg|457
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Retiring teacher Willette Johnson greets returning choir alum Diamoah Ngwayah, 11, (he was in her choir last year) as she prepares to work with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/16rO2l.St.138.jpeg|466
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/zFeTY.St.138.jpeg|459
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Retiring teacher Willette Johnson (right) greets returning choir alum Zinyah Robinson, 12, who was in the 2012 choir, as Johnson prepares to work with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/11/11/52/GDQAZ.St.138.jpeg|470
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Willette Johnson working with the reunion choir during a practice at University City United Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.
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